Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

France

Mayor backs down from gay wedding after threats

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2012-11-09

The mayor of a small town in northern France has cancelled her plans to preside over the civil marriage of two women after receiving “violent and threatening” messages.

The mayor of a small town in northern France has cancelled a same-sex marriage ceremony, which she had agreed to preside over on November 10, after receiving a torrent of “violent” threats.

“Given the numerous violent and threatening reactions, I currently cannot take the risk of darkening this day,” Desirée Duhem, the mayor of Hantay, said in a press release sent to FRANCE 24.

A week earlier, Duhem, a member of France’s Socialist Party, caught the attention of the French media by announcing she would perform a civil marriage between two women that would have likely been invalidated by authorities.

In her statement, the mayor said she did not fear legal reprisals against her, but was worried about “unrest” during the ceremony. “By a mutual accord between the two young women and myself, we have cancelled this civil act that is not yet authorised by law.”

Duhem also thanked the many “encouraging” letters and messages of support she received from France and Belgium. Hantay, which counts around 1,000 inhabitants, lies 20 kilometres from the city of Lille and 40 kilometres from the border with Belgium.

Gay marriage storm brewing

France is inching toward legalising marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples. Government cabinet members approved a draft bill to authorise gay marriage and adoption on November 7, and President François Hollande promised that it will be on the statute books by mid-2013.

In announcing the premature wedding between the lesbian couple, Mayor Duhem said she hoped the government would afford her some leeway.

Hollande, who was elected president in May, campaigned on the promise to extend marriage to same-sex couples.

France has allowed civil unions between same-sex couples, known in France as the Pacs, since 1999.

Anti-gay marriage groups, as well as Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim groups as well as France’s conservative opposition, have called for nationwide protests against gay marriage on November 17.

Date created : 2012-11-09

  • FRANCE

    Lesbian kiss steals spotlight at French anti-gay parenting protest

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Catholic Church weighs in against gay marriage

    Read more

  • US ELECTIONS 2012

    US states vote to legalise pot and same-sex marriage

    Read more

COMMENT(S)